I had been waiting for this moment for more than 25 years.
I was pretty relaxed, but praying that the Holy Spirit would guide my words. I only had six minutes.
I wasn't alone. Pastor Jen Rude from Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and recently ordained Pastor Jason Glombiki sat on the panel with me, addressing the ELCA Conference of Bishops about openly LGBT candidates for ministry.
I thought I'd look out and see stony faces as I spoke. I didn't. Instead, the bishops were interested and engaged.
They laughed at the right times. They nodded in recognition as we spoke about LGBT candidates whose eligibility may expire because no congregation has yet called them.
Six minutes is a short time to convey the need to support LGBT candidates and to encourage congregations to call them. But those six minutes are already bearing fruit.
Later that day, one bishop told me about the challenges of placing a qualified gay candidate. Instead of giving up, he's getting creative, introducing this future pastor to potential churches through supply preaching.
Six minutes has turned into six days of great conversations. We've been a presence at the Conference of Bishops for years; now we're a resource.
Our presence with the bishops costs about $600/day in travel and staff time.
That's a small piece of the $188,524 we have left to raise before June 30 in our Gifts of Love campaign.
Encouraged by our work with the bishops, Mike Crandall has extended his matching $10,000 matching gift to March 10th—that's a week away! We are making good progress but still need your help to close the funding gap.
If even one candidate gets a call because of our work here, the expense was more than worth it.
You've got more than six minutes. Let's make a difference together.
ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation
Life at the Intersection | The Last Bastion of Fictional Heterosexuality:
Shout OUT to Sam and Collins
Michael Cobbler, Co-Director of Committee for Working at the Intersection of Oppressions
February 28, 2014
On this last day on Black History Month, I would like to give a "shout-out" to two athletes - Michael Sam, and Jason Collins. Michael Sam is the University of Missouri graduate and defensive end who announced earlier this month that he is gay. Jason Collins is a NBA center, now playing for the Brooklyn Nets, came out as gay last April.
A commentary written this week by Farrell Evans on ESPN.com speaks to the significance of these declarations. His article, "Black and gay in sports," is a reminder on how far we have come in the reception and acceptance of African-American men in professional sports. While we have indeed come far, however, there is still another barrier to break - and that is drafting an athlete who has come out as gay. As Marcellus Blount, quoted in Evans' commentary, says, "Sports is the last bastion of a kind of fictional heterosexuality. What's at stake here is not questions of sexuality, but that men have to be heterosexual to be athletes."
So on May 8-10, I'm rooting for Michael Sam's name to be called at the National Football League Draft - I'm thinking low third round or high fourth round. (I checked the post-combine report - he is listed #11 in the defensive end category.) To borrow from one of my favorite childhood books," Green Eggs and Ham," I offer this couplet:
"I do hope that Michael Sam
Becomes a Lion, Bear, or Ram!"
See you at the Intersection!
Four out of five Jack’s leave the church when they come out.
We think one is too many.
Mike believes that the ministry of ReconcilingWorks and its outreach to LGBT youth and young adults saves lives and renews faith. His excitement about our ministry has translated into a very generous matching gift of $10,000 toward closing our funding gap of $20,000 by March 3rd.
LGBT youth and young adults like Jack find solace, support and courage through our digital outreach. Our following of 16 to 24 year olds find us mostly on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. Our ministry through digital media which confirms God’s grace and unconditional love for LGBT people costs $68.38 per day.
Stay tuned for updates on our progress to meet Mike’s match.
In gratitude for the abundance with which we are richly blessed.
ReconcilingWorks is incredibly fortunate to have Anita Pena Saavedra volunteer with us in the office for the month of February.
Anita is a Public Administrator, and is studying to receive her masters in Gender Studies and Latin American culture at The University of Chile. Her thesis is about the feminist movement in Chile. She works for www.epes.cl, a foundation for health promotion in Chile, and also teaches public policy and gender at Andrés Bello National University. Anita also is a teaching assistant for cultural studies, psychoanalysis, literature and gender. Anita considers herself a strong feminist and works frequently with www.nomasviolenciacontramujeres.cl.
"I am a feminist because I feel injustice against women and believe in the social struggle to transform the world," Anita says. "I have dreams for a world without discrimination. I hope all people can be and love with freedom. I wholeheartedly thank you for this opportunity.
Please help us welcome Anita Peña Saavedra to the ReconcilingWorks family! We are grateful for her energy and smile that she brings to our workplace. Thanks may be posted here on facebook.
UPDATE: The Indiana House is scheduled to vote on HJR-3 TODAY, Jan 27th at 1:30 p.m. EST! Join Freedom Indiana TODAY at the Statehouse to show lawmakers that the people of Indiana overwhelmingly believe in freedom and liberty for every family in our state. Stand with faith leaders, including the Rev. William O. Gafkjen, bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the ELCA, in opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment banning the freedom to marry for same-gender couples in Indiana.
Los Angeles ReconcilingWorks Chapter "Wall of Protection" to Extend Love, Hospitality in Response to Westboro Cult
A special report from Pr. Keith Banwart, President - Lutherans Concerned/Los Angeles the Southern California Chapter of ReconcilingWorks
2013 has been a historic year for ReconcilingWorks and the LGBTQ movement as a whole. As you celebrate 2013's achievements with us, take a look back at some of our favorite resources, snippets, videos, and books. Some are from ReconcilingWorks while others have been produced by our movement partners.
"Today I want to say as a Christian, as a priest, to all the LGBTI community, I am deeply sorry for our part as religious people, in the pain you have experienced across the ages. I have a dream that in my lifetime, I will hear all the leaders of all our great faith traditions making the same apology."
This apology came during the closing prayer session of the assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC), held from October 30 to November 8 in Busan, South Korea. It was given by Father Michael Lapsley, Director of the Institute for Healing of Memories, which is headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa.
- 10 things every Lutheran should know about Transgender Day of Remembrance
- A new RIC community, St. Philip Lutheran Church
- A new RIC community, Saint Paul Lutheran Church
- World Council of Churches' "Create Safe Space Caucus" Statement
- Whiteboard Reformation: Our Lutheran Story
- Dr. JamieAnn Meyers to speak at Room for All (RFA) Conference
- A new RIC community, Bethlehem Lutheran Church
- A new RIC community, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
- A new RIC community, St. Peter's Lutheran Church
- Ally Week